We've been waiting on the prospect of a bionic eye for a while now; being able to surgically give sight to the sightless would be a medical breakthrough, and we're right on the cusp. Exhibit A: In a world first, scientists have successfully implanted a prototype bionic eye that has helped a woman see shapes.
An injection of a specific chemical directly into the eyes can temporarily restore sight in blind mice, suggesting a new therapy for people with vision loss, a new study says. The researchers who discovered the chemical capability are working on an improved version that could someday work in humans.
By Arnie CooperPosted 07.16.2012 at 4:50 pm 7 Comments
A new bionic eye implant could allow blind people to recognize faces, watch TV and even read. Nano Retina's Bio-Retina is one of two recent attempts to help patients with age-related macular degeneration, which affects 1.5 million people in the U.S.
A new generation of retinal implants could use light to provide power and data, potentially restoring vision in a less-invasive form than existing implants. Researchers at Stanford University previously described how such a system would work, and now they’ve designed implants that can receive infrared signals for power and information processing.
A system first made for robot navigation could give blind people the equivalent of a Braille head-up display, according to French researchers. Two cameras mounted to a pair of glasses generate a three-dimensional image of a person’s environment and their place in it, displaying the information on a handheld Braille device.
Future self-driving cars could make traffic smoother and safer, among plenty of other potential benefits, but one thing you don’t hear much about — and should — is their utility for people with physical limitations. For example, Steve Mahan, who has lost 95 percent of his vision. He becomes Google Autonomous Car Driver #1 in the video past the jump.
Glaucoma affects more than 4 million Americans, many of whom don’t even realize they are affected by it. It’s a leading cause of blindness with no known cure. But researchers at the non-profit Jackson Laboratory have found that a single, targeted X-ray treatment of a single mouse eye is enough to provide complete and lifelong protection from glaucoma, even in mice who are prone to the disease.
Typing in Braille is tricky, requiring clunky and expensive dedicated devices--some costing as much as $6,000--with limited functionality beyond their primary design parameter. But a team of researchers at Stanford, including an undergrad on loan from New Mexico State University, have created a touchscreen interface that brings the ability to write in Braille to tablet PCs.